New Diverse Business Program From MassMutual to Impact 175 Businesses Over Next Five Years OutBuro lgbt professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer

New Diverse Business Program From MassMutual to Impact 175 Businesses Over Next Five Years

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#massmutual–On the heels of announcing a $150 million commitment to utilizing underrepresented diverse businesses in its procurement process, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) today announced a new diverse business program in partnership with Dartmouth College and Stanford University aimed to help diverse businesses thrive and grow. The program will impact 175 businesses over the next five years through comprehensive education, business planning and mentorship.

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“This new diverse business program is one more example of MassMutual’s commitment to making an impact and contributing towards systemic change,” said Regina Heyward, head of supplier diversity with MassMutual. “Bringing together national leaders in diversity, academia and financial services, we are striving to deliver a holistic approach to help today’s most pressing issues facing underrepresented diverse businesses.”

The diverse business program’s framework is comprised of financial, collaboration and educational elements which will rely upon and strengthen relationships with key diverse constituencies. Program participants will receive financial and executive level education to enhance their business acumen. The program will be delivered through the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business Diversity Business Programs and the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, a research and education collaboration between Stanford University Graduate School of Business and the Latino Business Action Network.

“For four decades, the Tuck Diversity Business Programs have delivered high-impact business education for entrepreneurs through executive education programs online and on the Dartmouth campus in Hanover, NH, and through outreach programs in all 50 states,” said Emmanuel Ajavon, associate director of business leadership programs at Tuck. “We are proud to collaborate with MassMutual to continue in this rich tradition as we work with a new generation of diverse entrepreneurs.”

“The diverse business program is a tangible extension of MassMutual’s ‘Live Mutual’ philosophy, allowing us to bring our purpose to life in specific, measurable ways,” added Heyward. “It enables us to directly invest in change and help people secure their future and protect the ones they love.”

About MassMutual

MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. Founded in 1851, the company has been continually guided by one consistent purpose: we help people secure their future and protect the ones they love. With a focus on delivering long-term value, MassMutual offers a wide range of protection, accumulation, wealth management and retirement products and services. For more information, visit www.massmutual.com.

Contacts

Paula Tremblay

ptremblay@massmutual.com

Cross River and TechUnited Join Forces Propel Entrepreneurs and Empower More Small Businesses OutBuro lgbt professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer bisexual

Cross River and TechUnited Join Forces to Propel Entrepreneurs and Empower More Small Businesses in New Jersey

Cross River and TechUnited launch Women & Minority Business Owners Mentorship Cohort

Cross River is investing in its backyard by continuing to cultivate the NJ ecosystem through job creation, community partnerships and empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs

FORT LEE, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cross River Bank (“Cross River”), a technology-driven financial services organization that provides core infrastructure and embedded financial solutions and TechUnited:NJ, a membership-driven, non-profit organization that offers opportunities for tech-enabled companies and entrepreneurs to collaborate, today announced a groundbreaking partnership to propel the future of New Jersey by increasing support for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the state, particularly by providing additional resources to women and minority business owners.

“Our success at Cross River is emblematic of the growth of the New Jersey technology ecosystem, and we are humbled to play a part in cultivating, hiring, and investing in our backyard,” said Phil Goldfeder, SVP of Global Public Affairs at Cross River. “As one of the largest lenders in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), we safely and securely supported the smallest businesses who needed access to capital and this partnership with TechUnited demonstrates our continued commitment to our mission of serving the smallest businesses and entrepreneurs leading the next generation.”

As said by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy in his welcome remarks at Propelify Innovation Festival: “This event reflects and amplifies the innovative spirit to which New Jersey is responding to a multitude of major challenges. As entrepreneurs and innovators, you continue to reinvent the industry and are critical to the New Jersey economy. Supporting women and minority small businesses through mentorship programs with Cross River… will both transform our state and maintain our commitment to creating a stronger and fairer New Jersey for every family.”

Cross River merges the forward-thinking offerings of a technology company with the established expertise of a bank, while maintaining a strong focus on regulatory compliance and consumer protection. As a New Jersey state-chartered community bank, Cross River has demonstrated firsthand how the state’s structure and support has played an integral role in propelling economic advancement, innovation, and increased investment opportunities. Cross River and TechUnited have been community partners for years, but this partnership is the first of its kind, encompassing a Women & Minority Business Owners Mentorship Cohort, resources for startups and emerging investors, community events, thought leadership and more to propel the greater New Jersey technology and business ecosystems.

The specialized mentorship cohort focuses on providing underrepresented founders and owners with new advantages, resources, and information. The cohort will provide mentorship from executives at Cross River, Amazon, RSM, Deloitte, EY, and more. Within the business community, where startups and small businesses are faced with immeasurable challenges, mentorship, guidance, and community visibility are crucial to provide lasting support. Beyond the 1:1 mentorship, the program also provided four cohort members with grants, subsidized by Cross River, to enable them to present at the Propelify Innovation Festival, on October 6, 2021 in Hoboken, New Jersey.

“Leveraging the TechUnited community and board, as well as our massive annual festival, Propelify, to truly support women and minority founders via this mentorship cohort is critical to the region’s success,” said Aaron Price, CEO of TechUnited. “For entrepreneurs who want to build their companies faster and smarter, this program is for you. We encourage anyone looking for guidance to ensure their business thrives to apply.”

In September of 2021, coming off the success of its 2020-2021 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Cross River launched Making Waves with Cross River, a campaign dedicated to small businesses and entrepreneurs. The campaign is specifically focused on supporting diverse small businesses who are serving their communities and creating jobs and encompasses a number of initiatives in conjunction with community partners including grant programs and small business support.

To learn more, and to get involved, please visit www.crossriver.com/making-waves.

About Cross River

Cross River is a fast-growing financial services organization that merges the forward-thinking offerings of a technology company with the established expertise and traditional services of a bank. Since its founding in 2008, Cross River has developed strategic partnerships with leading technology companies, marketplace lenders and payment providers, while maintaining a strong focus on regulatory compliance and consumer protection. Cross River provides a highly secure, API-based banking platform and comprehensive suite of products encompassing lending, payments, risk management and Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) offerings to deliver responsible financial solutions that empower businesses and consumers anytime, anywhere. Cross River Bank is a New Jersey state-chartered FDIC insured bank. For more information, please visit Cross River’s website at www.crossriver.com or Twitter @crossriverbank.

About TechUnited

TechUnited:NJ (techunited.co) is a membership-driven, non-profit organization with over 500,000 innovator members that offers opportunities for tech-enabled companies and entrepreneurs to propel the future of New Jersey and beyond through events, mentorship, content creation, and more. Founded in 1996 as the NJ Technology Council (NJTC), the organization has established itself as the premiere advocate for the technology community in the region. In 2005, the NJTC helped start a successful venture fund in Tech Council Ventures. In 2019, the NJTC acquired the Propelify Innovation Festival to cast a wider net in the region’s startup community. In 2020, the organization rebranded as TechUnited:NJ and redefined its mission to empower innovators and entrepreneurs who build a better future for all.

Contacts

Cross River

Eden Hoffman

Phone: 201-808-7000 x538

ehoffman@crossriver.com

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Fiverr Announces Inaugural Future Collective, a Business Accelerator Fellowship for Black Entrepreneurs

Future Collective fellows to receive funding as well as access to a free 6-month training and mentorship program for startups

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fiverr, the company that is changing how the world works together, is announcing its inaugural Future Collective Fellowship Program as well as the five fellows who have been selected to receive funding, training and mentorship. Fiverr’s Future Collective was created alongside 1863 Ventures, an independent, Black-led nonprofit organization that delivers business development programs designed to bridge the gap between entrepreneurship and equality, and maestra, a business strategy firm building a more socially conscious and equitable world. The program aims to support Black entrepreneurs that have used Fiverr’s platform to get started and are already a part of Fiverr’s growing community of small businesses.

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Research shows that Black entrepreneurs face financial hurdles not only when beginning their businesses, but as they attempt to navigate spaces that often don’t look like them and to which they have had little access historically. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland found that Black entrepreneurs were 10% more likely to apply for financial startup assistance than their white counterparts, yet they were 19% less likely to be approved. White entrepreneurs have an edge over their Black counterparts because, for every $100 in white family wealth, Black families hold just $5.04. That same sentiment is what drives many Black sellers on Fiverr. 54% come to the platform hoping to make a sustainable, permanent living primarily on Fiverr – more likely than their White and Latinx seller counterparts. Fiverr hopes to be a part of helping to close that gap and countless others.

“Fiverr’s purpose is to provide anyone, no matter their race, religion, background or beliefs, the opportunity to build their business, brand or dreams. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to use our platform and resources in pursuit of this purpose,” said Micha Kaufman, CEO of Fiverr. “Yes, the world has seen an outpouring of support for Black owned businesses in the past year, however, there is still so much work to be done. We are thrilled to be able to support these incredible five businesses with the funding, mentoring, and training that they deserve and can’t wait to watch them continue to grow and succeed through this program.”

The five businesses that have been selected as Fiverr’s inaugural class of Future Collective fellows are:

  • Appdrop – software for empowering non-technical teams to build mobile apps without writing a single line of code.
  • Budget Collector – provides an artificial intelligence (AI) art adviser as a mobile app. The company supports the development of private art collections as well as galleries and provides resources for potential and current art collectors.
  • De L’or Cakery – a 5-star artisan cake catering company using top notch ingredients, many imported directly from the Caribbean to provide outstanding flavors.
  • Hey Girl Hey – a social bonding game created by sisters, Seanice and Sharina Clarke, Hey Girl Hey is a card game built to foster community connections among black women, featuring unexpected and entertaining prompts and challenges.
  • Keeyahri – a luxury women’s shoe brand inspired by founder and artistic director Keya Martin’s favorite architecture around the world. Keeyahri aims to help women feel confident through unique designs.

Each of the Future Collective fellows will receive $24K in funding from Fiverr, guaranteed placement in an accelerator program organized and orchestrated by 1863 Ventures and regular mentorship and guidance from Fiverr’s senior management team. The structure of the program will consist of monthly cohort sessions, assigned online materials to review and complete coupled with regular coaching sessions. The fellows will also have access to 1863 Ventures’ weekly entrepreneur webinar sessions, allowing them to participate in sessions they find relevant to their business and growth.

“Now, more than ever, it is time to double down on our support of Black entrepreneurs. Over the past few years, roughly 20% of Black Americans have engaged in early-stage entrepreneurship, but their businesses struggle to advance along the entrepreneurial pathway,” said Melissa Bradley, Managing Director of 1863 Ventures. “If Black businesses reached economic parity with non-black businesses, their revenues would increase by approximately $5.9 trillion and create more than 19 million more jobs. 1863 Ventures is proud to be leading the charge in providing the necessary resources, capital, and programmatic support to break down barriers for Black businesses. We are excited to be working with Fiverr and maestra to make this new fellowship one of a kind and accomplish economic parity for these businesses.”

“While white adults have 13 times the wealth that Black adults do, when we compare median wealth of Black and white business owners, the median wealth gap decreases to a multiplier of three,” said De’Ara Balenger, Co-Founder of maestra. “Through this effort and more like it, we believe that we can work towards building Black generational wealth and supporting Black entrepreneurship.”

About Fiverr

Fiverr’s mission is to change how the world works together. Since 2010, the Fiverr platform has been at the forefront of the future of work connecting businesses of all sizes with skilled freelancers offering digital services in more than 500 categories, across 9 verticals including graphic design, digital marketing, programming, video and animation. In the twelve months ended June 30, 2021, 4.0 million customers bought a wide range of services from freelancers across more than 160 countries. We invite you to become part of the future of work by visiting us at fiverr.com, read our blog and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Contacts

Abby Forman

press@fiverr.com